The Anglo-Saxon Ship, buried in the 7th century and reborn in the 21st
‘In the corner of England, now called Suffolk, an Anglo-Saxon King’s burial ship and treasure laid hidden underground. Dormant for over thirteen centuries in the mysterious Sutton Hoo royal burial grounds, all that remained of the ship was a mere shadow of its former awe-inspiring glory.
‘Developing the Sutton Hoo story the King’s ship will be resurrected to its full ninety foot length in The Longshed, [formerly Whisstock’s boatyard] Woodbridge, from where it will slip once more into the King’s River to grace the waters and tides once again, reconnecting our Anglo-Saxon maritime heritage with our modern day sense of discovery.
‘The ship was first discovered in 1939 but not much remained of the original ship, just the impressive imprint of a ghost in the sand. Sutton Hoo has welcomed visitors to the site for many years and attempts have been made to reconstruct the ship, including a half-size replica but now everything has come together so that a full-size replica will be built by The Ship’s Company.
Above: drawing of the ship, rediscovered in Ipswich Museum.
‘Building a Saxon ship using authentic ship-building methods will have its challenges but where we don’t have the skills in house we will contract experts, such as marine archaeologists, ship architects, shipwrights and experts in green wood working. Together with strong academic support from the Universities of York and Southampton we will see that we record and learn from, every stage.’
Quotations from The Ship’s Company, https://saxonship.org
At a well-attended Beginning the build event on October 25 2018 at which Paul Constantine introduced some of the archive materials relating to Basil Brown’s original 1939 excavation at Sutton Hoo and the technical challenges ahead, visitors were able to inspect the earlier ‘half-length’ replica Sae Wylfing, other work-in-progress and the very beginnings of the physical build.